Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Poor Kitties!

Cat Piano - Now who are the ad-wizards that came up with this one? Did they even have ad-wizards in the 17th century?

Had lunch with Matt today at Sushi Yama (because it was actually *open* today, as opposed to Sunday). Man that was a lot of food. Although I'm still not a fan of the california roll.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Work stuff

Life is going to be infinitely boring for like, the next two weeks. I managed to kill all my cells last week, so I have to wait for new ones to grow up before I can do another experiment. The doubling time on these cells is a week...ugh.

I need to get that book collection entry finished and submitted tonight...it's got to be a near-guarantee at prize money. And there's so much stuff I want from Old Navy! I have 22 "wants" in my online shopping bag right now - although I know I won't end up getting all of them. I typically keep a running shopping bag when I see something I like, but I never order right away. I always end up deleting some things a few days later after the initial "Oh, that's cute!" wears off, or it goes out of stock. Plus I'm waiting for them to send me my credit card so I can get my discount/free shipping/reward points.

My pick for this year's Nobel Prize in medicine: a suit that prevents third-world country women from dying during childbirth due to hemorrhaging.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Quotification

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" - Monty Python's Flying Circus

"Life's too short to buy cheap ziplock bags." - Me

Appropriate for Sunday

Hymns for All Professions
Dentist's Hymn: Crown Him with Many Crowns
Weatherman's Hymn: There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
Contractor's Hymn: The Church's One Foundation
Tailor's Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy
Golfer's Hymn: There's a Green Hill Far Away
Politician's Hymn: Standing on the Promises
Optometrist's Hymn: Open My Eyes That I Might See
IRS Agent's Hymn: I Surrender All
Gossip's Hymn: Pass It On
Electrician's Hymn: Send The Light
Shopper's Hymn: Sweet By and By
Realtor's Hymn: I've Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
Massage Therapist's Hymn: He Touched Me
Doctor's Hymn: The Great Physician

Others?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Totally unrelated stuff

This guy is a first-rate @$$. How do people come up with this stuff??

I read that the "golden ratio" for a woman's wardrobe is 7 tops for every bottom. I was curious, so I gave my closet a quick once-over. My ratio is 7.13:1 - yay! (157:22, to be exact).

Dressy McDresserson

So, two shopping trips and $27 later, I have my LBD* for GNO** in March.

Full length shot - - - Close up shot

I also came across two neat sites today:
A Dress A Day - fun commentary about good dresses, bad dresses, steals on dresses, and everything in between. I wish I could sew, and shop, like this girl.
Dress By Design - for $189, this site will let you custom design a dress - 5 patterns, 7 necklines, 6 sleeve styles and 3 lengths...that's 630 possible dress styles. Plus tons of swatches in practically every kind of fabric, cut to your exact measurements. It's a cute idea. I threw together this one after playing around on the site for a few minutes.

I totally looked like a soccer mom today (a teeny bit blurry). Matt said soccer moms are hott.

*little black dress
**girls night out

UPDATE: I cleaned out my geocities account today and now I've exceeded my hourly file transfer limit (because I actually looked at stuff before I dumped it, and because I forgot to resize two of the pictures I just posted.) So if the photo links above don't work, check back in about an hour and it should be reset.

UPDATE 2: Seems like everything is okay over at geocities now. Click away!

Friday, February 24, 2006

SCARY

The "church" and the man behind it. One tidbit to draw you in:
For example, as a means of encouraging the wives and children to "submit to the father's authority in the home," Phelps began encouraging his congregants to beat them if necessary; he was once forced to bail one of his parishioners out of jail after counseling the man to punch his wife in the face until she became "subjugated." Parishioners of Eastside recall one of Phelps' sermons in particular: "A good left hook makes for a right fine wife. Brethren, they can lock us up, but we'll still do what the Bible tells us to do. Either our wives are going to obey, or we're going to beat them!"
When even Jerry Falwell thinks you're a "first-class nut," it's time to pack up the show.

Linky-loo

My favorite painting, frosted on a cake.

Fun game (I've made it to level 10).

Anagram map of the DC metro lines. For reference, here's the real map.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I know you are but what am I?

Random mental spew in 3..2..1...

Don't have much to say about this week. Obviously it's been a little slow compared to 4 days of skiing. I forgot to mention the moguls in my skiing post. I landed it every single time I jumped it - about 15-20 times.I think it was because I used to jump sticks and other things like that with my rollerblades when I was younger. I wonder where my rollerblades are. Maybe I'll break those out this spring and blade around the neighborhood.

The cats were total biatches this morning. Max cried incessently and every time he walked across my pillow, he stepped on my hair and pulled it. And then Roxie spit up on my side of the bed. You'd think we never fed them from the way they act in the morning.

I've been listening to Dr. Keith Thomas's Extreme Marriage Makover podcast sermons in the car. I've been impressed so far...I'll have to go back and listen to them again when I can devote 100% of my attention to them.

The secret ingredient on Iron Chef America is crawfish. The funny thing is that they have two Italian/Mediterranean cooks competing. It should be interesting. Although it's really weirding me out that they're chopping/skewering live seafood.

I have to give a research presentation in 11 days and I don't have any data. At least I can console myself with the fact that 95% of the people who come to the talk are there for the free sandwiches and not for the content of the talks.

Maryland residents can't apply for an Old Navy credit card online. How silly is that? I have to print it out and mail it in. I figured since I've been shopping there quite a bit recently, I might as well start getting my 5% back gift certificates and free shipping.

I've totally been binging this week. I ate a whole bag of poppycock in less than 24 hours. Man that is some good stuff though - popcorn, pecans and almonds in a toffee glaze. Mmm mmm. I've mostly been on a sweet kick this week.

We have a bunch of busy weekends coming up...my Evite panel on my Yahoo homepage is getting very full (currently 5 events) plus dinner (I think), helping with youth fun night at church, Lets Dish, and dress shopping with Kim and her mom.

Well that was a bunch of random information. Have fun kids.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

babybabybaby

More odd births:
A 62-year old woman gave birth to her 12th child, with her third husband. She already has 20 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

A Minnesota woman gave birth to her second child in a bathroom. To clarify this - she has four children; the last two were delivered in bathrooms.

I came home tonight and said to Matt "Guess who's having a baby?" He said "Hopefully not you..." I knew he was going to say that. Actually it's our friends Sean and Jennifer. Yay!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Song

We watched House last night, and there was a really awesome song at the beginning/end of the show. I looked it up online and bought it from iTunes today.

Two hearts fading, like a flower
And all this waiting for the power
For some answer to this fire
Sinking slowly, the water’s higher...desire

With no secrets, no obsession
This time I'm speeding with no direction
Without a reason, what is this fire?
Burning slowly, my one and only...desire

You know me, you don't mind waiting
You just can't show me, but God I'm praying
That you'll find me, and that you'll see me
That you run and never tire...desire

-Ryan Adams, Desire

Skiing was great, as usual. I have now skiied a total of 6 black diamond slopes. I also have a very red nose, because apparantly the tip of my nose was sticking out from my face-fleece and is now sunburned.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Excellent Update

After only three days of therapy at the Shepherd Center, Julie was able to stand on her own today. She is getting 8 hours of therapy a day (compared to the two or so she was getting at home) and will probably be there for a month or more.

I made pancakes, chocolate croissants, taco filling, salisbury steaks, and chicken strips in preparation for the ski trip this weekend. Yes I'm awesome!

More fun art - photographs of tiny people on food: Minimiam. Site is in French and slightly unintuitive. Click on passer l'intro to skip the flash intro, then on the minimiam icon to bring up the menu. There are several galaries to choose from...mousing over the third dot brings up the menu; the first and second dots are the navigation arrows. Good stuff.

Now Listening: Derek and the Dominos - Anyday

An interesting thought

Two's Company; Three's a Marriage - an article arguing against the criminalization of polygamy. I would never advocate polygamy on moral reasons, but to continue to make it a criminal act seems outrageous to me. The man in the article was charged with 4 counts of bigamy and sentenced to 25 yeas in jail, leaving his 5 wives and 29 now-fatherless children behind. That's a harsher sentence than rapists, robbers and drunk drivers get - all people that I think are more detrimental to our society than a man with more than one wife. What about the tax laws? Why should the government care if a man is supporting 3 wives and 10 children, versus 13 children? It's not a crime for a man to cheat on his wife, or for a single man to shack up with several women at once (the article points out the infamous Hugh Hefner as an example of non-wedded "polygamy.") I would argue that these arrangements are clearly less stable than a polygamous family, but no one bats an eye at them. You may say "polygamists are rife with tax fraud," "polygamists abuse children," etc etc. So continue to prosecute the tax fraudsters, and the child abusers. But polygamy is not the real crime here, to me.

Tummy hurts from too many sweets today...bleh.

Skiing in less than 24 hours! w00t!

It's a turn-around jump shot, it's everybody jump start
It's every generation throws a hero up the pop charts
Medicine is magical and magical is art
Think of the boy in the bubble and the baby with the baboon heart

And I believe these are the days of lasers in the jungle
Lasers in the jungle somewhere
Staccato signals of constant information
A loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires and baby
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry, don't cry

- Paul Simon, The Boy in the Bubble

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Random thoughts

None of them mine, however.

"People do all kinds of things today, drugs, pornography, and so on, and justify them as 'victimless crimes.' Let me tell you, there is no such thing as a victimless crime. It's like trying to define a one-ended stick - it doesn't exist. If you think something you're doing is a victimless crime, you're wrong - you are the victim." - Paraphrased from the radio show Just Thinking by Ravi Zacharias

"The most successful innovations are the ones that we stop noticing almost immediately. We often don’t appreciate the things we’d least like to give up." - Virginia Postrel, quoted in The Way I See It on my Starbucks cup

"Our lives should be lived with expectancy. Not necessarily with expectation, because expectation tends to dictate terms. Expectancy is the belief that God will do something. Expectation insists He do it in a certain way. Imagine a life buoyed by expectancy, by the conviction that the Lord will show Himself. How, where, when - we don't know that." - Mark Buchanan, from his book Your God Is Too Safe

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Just in time for Valentine's day

In line with the $10,000 martini and the $1,000 omlette, I give you...the $1,000 ice cream sundae.

I got the hubby Wil Wheaton's autobiography Just a Geek and Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. He got me Godiva truffles and tickets to see Movin' Out at the Hippodrome in March. And we're going to O'Donnell's in an hour. Mmmmm...steak and crab cakes.

Monday, February 13, 2006

My Top 6 Worst Movies

Probably in the order that I saw them:
1. Anaconda
2. Kingpin
3. Training Day
4. Tigerland
5. The Forgotten
6. Zoolander

Who I Blame:
1. Myself, for not having anything better to do than to watch sub-par TV on a Saturday afternoon
2. Paul Weinwurm, for bringing it to Ocean City
3. Matt, for suggesting we rent it
4. Christine Cheliras, for thinking that anything with Colin Farrell is automatically a great movie
5. Myself, for not believing that they had really given away the ending in the preview
6. Matt Skinner, for telling Matt it was his favorite movie

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Angry Snowman!

I wanted to make a snow cat, but I got vetoed. It was Matt's first life-sized snowman, so I let him win this time.


You would be angry too, if someone stuck a marshmallow on your arm.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Rubber baby buggy bumpers

Theme of the day: unusual births.
1. A 3' tall, 37-pound woman in California has given birth to a healthy boy. She suffers from a form of osteogenesis imperfecta, a defect in the collagen structure that makes up your bones. Remember the movie Unbreakable?
2. A woman in Colorado gave birth to a 1.5 pound baby girl. She was 6 months pregnant and thought she had just had a miscarriage, but when the paramedics showed up, the baby was alive in the toilet.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Impact: The striking of one body against another; collision.

From NPR: Health & Science for January 15th, 2006, regarding the NASA spacecraft that brought back stardust samples. The conversation is from a landing recording of the first attempt NASA made at landing a similar spacecraft 16 months ago.

NPR: ...and there's plenty of open space if something goes wrong, like the last time this was attempted.
Tech 1: Impact...at 5-8-5-5...
Tech 2: Command 1, we have impact, bearing 2-0-0-8 miles.
Command 1: Do you have an altitude?
Tech 2: That's impact sir, ground level.
NPR: The unmanned Genesis spacecraft smashed into the soft desert soil here 16 months ago. Its parachutes had failed to open because the sensor that triggers them was installed backward.

Work situation

Trying to explain a catastrophic biology failure to someone that doesn't have much experience in biology makes me want to scream sometimes.

The best way I can explain what happened 2 weeks ago, is to relate it to religion. Assume (if you are not already) that you are a christian. You read the bible, you pray, you go to church. These are my metaphors for the day-to-day tasks I do in research. Having a regular experiment fail would be like not having a prayer answered. You're disappointed maybe, but you carry on, maybe you even learn something important. The experiment I'm referring to that "failed" would be like finding irrefutable proof that God didn't exist. Sure, you could still read the bible and pray and go to church.

But what's the point?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

More VaCo for your reading enjoyment

She came a runnin' through the wind and snow
A little cold, man, but she don't know
Well, it ain't nothing wrong, it's just another way to go, yeah

She came to reach in with a child's hand
I said, we gotta hide it, they won't understand
Well, it hurt like an old wound that wouldn't close

I did it anyway, sayin' why did you bring me here?
I should’ve stayed at home
Should’ve listened to what everyone was sayin'
I'm payin' now and it looks like it's gone

Never wonder, do you just pretend?
Like to say you could make it all alone, yeah
It's not the answer, and this is not the end
You don't have to try to make it all alone

I said it slow so she'd hear it well
You know it feels like now you can never tell
It's so hard to make a change, yeah
Some people take forever and ever and ever
They say I'm breathing so I must be all right
What's the reason for me to change my life?
My time might mean nothing more, so

Never wonder, do you just pretend?
Like to say you could make it all alone, yeah
It's not the answer, and this is not the end
You don't have to try to make it all alone

I'd rather die in love than to live forever
It's like the feeling when you soul is saying "now or never"
Stop crying to the angels up above, you can live forever

She came a runnin' through the wind and snow
A little cold, man, but she don't know
And it ain't nothin' wrong, it's just another way to go

Never wonder, do you just pretend?
Like to say you could make it all alone, yeah
It's not the answer, and this is not the end
You don't have to try to make it on your own

-Virginia Coalition, Johnny Wonder

Lew Siffer wants to rock and roll all night!

This tract about how all rock and roll music is satanic (including christian rock) made me laugh.

Heavy stuff, dood

In the iTunes EULA:
THE APPLE SOFTWARE IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE IN THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS, LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES OR OTHER EQUIPMENT IN WHICH THE FAILURE OF THE APPLE SOFTWARE COULD LEAD TO DEATH, PERSONAL INJURY, OR SEVERE PHYSICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE.

Wow...who knew people would consider iTunes so multi-functional?

Eh, why not

We watched Jim Gaffigan (again) and Christopher Titus's stand-up shows last weekend. Christopher (who used to have a funny show, on ABC I think) mentioned his wife Erin: "She does EVERYTHING. I mean, she's like a swiss army wife." Matt liked that phrase, and has started using it as well.

I started this almost 3 weeks ago, and then forgot about it. So here you go.

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before? Bought a house.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yes, I did (lost 18 pounds) and no, I won't.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not super close, but Paul Zarek (Jon), Dan Larimer (Chloe), and Dave VanderWeele (Sam). Clearly I am actually referring to their wives.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year

5. What countries did you visit? Narnia

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? A thesis proposal/committee

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Matt already took May 13th, so I'll say May 27th - the day we bought our house.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting an A in Graduate Pharmacology

9. What was your biggest failure? Being angry too often

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Back spasm

11. What was the best thing you bought? iPod, new laptop

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Matt's mom is amazing.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? RC

14. Where did most of your money go? House closing, house taxes, house payments, house insurance (probably close to $20K)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Skiing in WV

16. What song will always remind you of 2005? Politicians by Switchfoot: "I pledge allegiance to a country without borders, without politicians..."

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? sadder
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner
iii. richer or poorer? slightly richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Reading, sleeping

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Commuting

20. How will you be spending Christmas? We went to my parents' place

22. Did you fall in love in 2005? With the 80s! (song reference)

23. How many one-night stands? I can't think of anything funny to put here.

24. What was your favorite TV program? The OC

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Politicians that I didn't know of in 2005

26. What was the best book you read? I started Tony Campolo's "Speaking My Mind" right before New Years, and so far I've been impressed.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? David Gray

28. What did you want and get? see 11

30. What was your favorite film of this year? Walk the Line

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 24 - we went to dinner at Lonestar, I think, because Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse wasn't open.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Straight hair

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? classically cute

34. What kept you sane? God

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Who says fancy?

36. What political issue stirred you the most? Civil liberties - which pretty much covers everything that sucks in America today.

37. Who did you miss? Chrissy, Seth, and my mom

38. Who were the best new people you met? Dan Swartzlander

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005: If you top a sundae with a crouton instead of a cherry, it counts as a salad.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "She's so pretty but she doesn't always act that way, her moods are swinging on the swingset almost every day. She said to me that she's so stressed out it's soothing, and all I said was 'Someone get that girl a mood ring.'" - Relient K

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Monday, February 06, 2006

This world's an ugly place

From the OpEd that Kim posted on her blog: "Like it or not, we are all Danes now." No. I refuse to submit to the hate and anger that has charged this entire situation on both sides of the coin. I don't condone the actions of either party. Why is a Dane writing a children's book about Mohammed? My guess is that this so-called "children's book" was actually full of the lies that are perpetuated in the name of Democracy and Christianity, like "Mohammed was a pedophile." I would be afraid to illustrate that too.

Just because I have the right to say something doesn't mean that I should. I have the "right" to publish a book that says that Mother Teresa was a prostitute and Pope John Paul II was her pimp, but that doesn't mean there won't be repercussions for my actions. I don't go up to a Hell's Angels biker and call him a fat hairy pig, or yell racial epithets at a Black Panther. Censorship? More like common sense.

Shame on the Danish newspaper, for expressing their frustration in such a culturally insensitive and hateful way. Shame on the radical Muslims for responding in kind with their acts of violance and rioting. Shame on the American press, for the journalistic "one-upmanship" they displayed when they encouraged American artists to come up with even more insulting and profane cartoons of the prophet, to "show the Danes how it's done." And shame on all of us Christians, for not displaying one modicum of indignation when our own savior's image is sullied like this and this and this and this.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It wasn't my fault this time

Last night, I was sitting on the couch wearing three shirts, a blanket over my legs, and my computer in my lap (running and therefore giving off heat) and I was *still* cold. I mentioned it to Matt, and he said he was a little chilly too. So he got up to look at the thermostat. Turns out that he had forgotten that he had turned off the heat...TWO WEEKS AGO. If the weather hadn't been atypical for the end of January, I could have died!

A homeland security detective arrested a woman who was picketing outside of a HoneyBaked Ham store in Georgia during a vegan protest. I'm so glad my country is protecting me from terrorist vegans and their anti-American, anti-ham ways.

The TSA is going to start their Registered Traveler program in June. For a $100 yearly fee, you can submit to two background checks and turn over your biometric data (fingerprints, iris scan, etc) to the government who will somehow embed it in an (easily stolen?) ID card. All in the name of not having to take your shoes off in the security line. Meanwhile, the rest of us (potential terrorists) will have to wait even longer to get through security because they'll be devoting special resources (lines, metal detectors, agents) to the paying sheep. Bruce Schneier (who I've cited before) tells us why this won't buy us any more safety.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

O RLY?

I got this little message box this morning, saying I should check for HP software and driver updates. I was like, okay, whatever. The two updates it found and said I should download are a new version of the HP software and driver updater (so it can update itself, I guess) and a new monthly "system check" (which I suppose is the little message box that popped up). I'm slightly suspicious.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Savings

Back in August '05, I posted that our savings rate was about 4.25%. I am pleased to say that it is currently 7.9% (savings account + 401K). We've still got a ways to go from where I'd like to be, but moving upward is always the best direction.

The answer to the traffic light trivia question is 118. Yes, that's right. One hundred eighteen and 00/100. That's 118 chances for me to slam on my brakes and hope I don't get rear-ended because I'm trying to avoid one of Montgomery County's many red light cameras, and 118 chances for someone to run a red light and hit my car every day. That is just peachy.

Bit O' Trivia

Like Bit O' Honey, but less calories. Does anyone actually eat those things anyways?

A. How many stoplights do you drive through every day?
B. How many stoplights do you think I drive through every day?

Post your answer/guess. Stay tuned for the correct answer to B. Matt is not allowed to guess because he already knows.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hillary in '08?



C'mon, do we really want HER as president?

Although Iran might shape up when they have to deal with that face.